Dear NJPSA Members:
Earlier today, the NJ Department of Education released a broadcast memo to the New Jersey education community providing guidance related to the issue of state standardized assessments which could occur this spring if New Jersey does not receive the federal testing waiver the NJDOE has requested.
While we, and the NJDOE, remain hopeful that our request for a federal waiver of these assessments for the 2021 school year will be granted, the Department felt it was prudent to distribute this information now so that school districts would have time to prepare to conduct testing this Spring in the event that the waiver is denied. Please be assured that we will continue to advocate for the waiver, as we believe that it would be a mistake to further disrupt the school year in order to impose standardized tests on students that would not produce valid data or drive instruction going forward. This is why we joined the NJEA and NJASA in writing to Secretary Cardona, asking for his support of the federal waiver.
As we await the decision from the Biden Administration, our priority is to provide you with support and guidance, based on what we learned in the memo from the NJDOE. We understand the challenge that Spring assessments would bring to your schools, and we pledge to be there with you every step of the way, should testing occur. The new testing window would be May 3 – June 11 for the NJSLA assessment and April 5 – June 11 for the DLM Assessment and ACCESS Assessment. In the meantime, we know there are many questions you will need answered by the NJDOE in order to adequately prepare for a testing period unlike any you have provided in the past. We are here to help you.
NJPSA has established an email address, email@example.com. Please send your questions regarding the spring assessment to that address so that we can solicit and procure answers from the NJDOE. We recognize that a lack of timely guidance in the past has created numerous implementation issues. We will do whatever we can to ensure that you get appropriate answers. As we learn more about spring assessments, we will schedule a webinar for members to provide you with the very latest information and useful resources. We will also publish answers to the questions as we receive them from the Department.
Again, it is our hope that the federal waiver will be granted, but if it is not, please be assured that NJPSA is here to assist you in every way we can. Thank you for your continued outstanding work during this tumultuous time.
Executive Director, NJPSA